Brief Explains Maintaining Injunction Against CMS Vaccination Requirements for Healthcare Facility Staff Will “Irreparably Harm Patients”
Washington, D.C. — Today, on behalf of many of the nation’s leading medical organizations, Democracy Forward filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit to grant the U.S. Department of Justice’s emergency motion for stay pending appeal of the injunction against the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) interim final rule requiring healthcare worker vaccinations. The brief was signed by the American College of Physicians, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Chest Physicians, American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics, American Geriatrics Society, American Medical Women’s Association, American Society for Clinical Pathology, American Society for Echocardiography, American Society of Hematology, American Thoracic Society, and American Lung Association and is consistent with a statement issued earlier this year by the nation’s medical community in support of vaccine requirements for health care workers.
The brief explains that COVID-19 poses a grave danger to the health of medical facility patients and staff. Failing to implement CMS’ vaccine requirements would “severely and irreparably harm patients and undermine the public interest.” Outbreaks risking patient health are still happening: in an Iowa nursing home during October 2021, for example, 370 residents and staff became infected.
“When courts evaluate the effect of an injunction on the public interest, it is imperative that such decisions be informed by the medical community’s experience,” said Democracy Forward Foundation President and CEO Skye Perryman. “Our brief on behalf of many of the nation’s leading medical organizations makes the case in support of evidence-based policies to protect the health and safety of patients, frontline workers, and communities across the nation.”
As the brief states, “immediate, widespread vaccination against COVID-19 is the surest way to protect healthcare facility staff, patients, and the public and to end this costly pandemic.” While vaccination of all workers is critical to protecting public health and safety, it is even more urgent that healthcare workers be vaccinated: the potential for transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in healthcare settings puts not only frontline workers, but also patients, at risk.
Follow our work to protect the health of our nation during the pandemic here.
Democracy Forward Foundation is a nonprofit legal organization founded in 2017 that litigates cases involving government action on behalf of organizations, individuals, and municipalities. The organization has taken 650 legal actions and achieved victories supporting democracy and improving the lives and wellbeing of people and communities.